How to Pick a Nursing College in Zephyrhills Florida
Choosing the best nursing program near Zephyrhills FL may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Zephyrhills FL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Zephyrhills FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Zephyrhills FL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Zephyrhills FL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Zephyrhills FL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Zephyrhills FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Zephyrhills FL home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Zephyrhills FL along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Zephyrhills FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Zephyrhills FL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Zephyrhills FL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Zephyrhills FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Zephyrhills FL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Zephyrhills FL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Zephyrhills FL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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